Cauliflower and broccoli are winter over crops (in garden terms). I’ve grown them in the summer before but never tried growing them in the winter. Well, this was the year to try. Thank you to a good friend who gave me starter plants in October.
In case you do like to garden and are interested in other crops that can be planted in the fall/winter, check these out:
- Onions and Shallots. Autumn planting onion sets are easy to grow and will virtually look after themselves over winter. Onions have a long growing season and won’t be ready for harvesting until next summer. Mine were in the ground in October and small shoots are starting to surface. (Photo was taken last spring.)
- Garlic. Growing garlic couldn’t be easier and there are lots of varieties to choose from for autumn planting. Like onions, they have a long growing season and won’t be ready to harvest until next summer, but it is well worth the wait. My garlic is always ahead of the onions because they are potted in a warm south-facing spot in the front yard. (Photo of garlic after harvesting in June.)
More crops that survive winter:
- Spring onions or scallions. They are a fairly quick-growing crop and early autumn sowings should be ready to harvest by early spring.
- Perpetual Spinach. An excellent ‘cut and come again’ crop that will produce huge yields of tasty leaves. Early autumn sowings will keep you supplied with tender young leaves throughout winter.
- Broad Beans. Autumn sowed broad beans can be harvested in spring up to a month earlier than spring-sown plants.
- Peas. You will be the envy of your garden friends when you start harvesting peas 3 or 4 weeks earlier than other growers!
- Carrots. Plant in the fall/winter for an exceptionally early crop of carrots in spring.
- Pak choi. This quick to mature dual-purpose oriental vegetable can be harvested young throughout the winter as individual salad leaves, or let the heads mature and add the succulent stems to stir-fries.
(Winter garden vegetable resource: https://www.thompson-morgan.com/top-10-winter-vegetables)
While waiting for my winter cauliflower to mature, I’m auditioning recipes with store-bought cauliflower. This one turned out to be a winner. It can be fixed with raw or roasted cauliflower.
Nice head of cauliflower from the market. Did you know most stores charge by the pound (not the head)? About a third of the weight of this cauliflower was in the stem and leaves!
All ingredients combined except the dressing. Good as is, or… wait for it… add the dressing for a nice zing of added flavor.
The dressing is added to the salad. Ready to eat!
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/3 cup pistachios, roasted, salted, shelled and chopped
- 1/3 cup craisins, soaked in hot water and drained
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- Cover craisins in hot water and soak for about 5 minutes or until plumped. Drain and pat dry.
- Chop cauliflower into bite-size pieces and mix in plumped craisins.
- Coarsely chop pistachios and add to cauliflower mixture.
- Mix dressing ingredients together and drizzle over cauliflower mixture. Toss to combine.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Chop cauliflower and arrange on baking sheet in a single layer.
- Season with olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to coat.
- Roast for 30 minutes or until golden and crisp.